13-Apr-2011 12:14

Does your company need to create a mobile app?

One of the most successful mobile applications - or apps - in the world, the ‘Angry Birds’ game is & has already been downloaded over 100m times and is one piece of a global industry expected to be worth over £20billion by 2015.

Ebay claims 15 million people in 190 countries and in 8 different languages have downloaded its iPhone app thus far…

Globally, every two seconds Ebay makes a sale via its Ebay's app!

So what is an app or mobile application?

An app is software that is downloaded onto a mobile device - both phone and tablet - which integrates with the gadget's features including camera functions or GPS system.

Apps can be updated to supply latest products, offers or features.

Apps provide instant access, without having to type fresh information into a search engine and can usually be accessed, although not updated, offline.

Many companies can now use mobile devices to develop brands & specific use of apps can offer excellent insight into customers' behavioural patterns.

So how can you begin creating and launching a successful app?

The following may be important to remember:
• Start with a specific business need - don't simply join the bandwagon
• Work out how your mobile app could enhance current communications
• Consider how to deliver on users’ expectation of instant interaction
• Decide what is most useful to the customer and create your app accordingly
• Utility apps are normally preferable to entertainment apps
• Employ a specialist app developer for technical expertise & to forge relationships
• Mobile websites or messaging (SMS or MMS) have far greater reach
[Adapted from: Mobile Marketing Association]

ABI Research claims that almost 8bn apps were downloaded in 2010 - clearly a sign of their increasing popularity.
But it also betrays a marketplace where your app could disappear rather quickly too…

They may be expensive to create.

A simple app could cost you £20,000 & take up to two months to create and a more complex app could cost over £100,000 & take six months to develop.

Be aware that an app may happily work on an iPhone but may be incompatible on Android system & once you have created & produced your new app it still has to pass stringent tests laid down by companies, including Apple, before they will support it for sale or even give it away for free in their app stores.

So why create an app?

Well, if your company, your product, your service is a brand, your new app may be a great for you to engage customers in a rich and interactive method.

Recent statistic show:
• More than eight billion apps downloaded in 2010
• 50billion downloads estimated by 2012
• Global industry will be worth more than £20bn by 2015
• 56% of users are male, 44% female
• Largest age group is 25 > 34-year-olds, followed by 34 > 44-year-olds a& 18 > 24
• 75% believe the apps quality makes the brand more trustworthy
• 73% have downloaded an app with ads in it
[Sources: Juniper & GetJar]

A possible obstacle for the creation & investment on apps is that technology generally develops rather quickly.

Many of today’s ‘paid-for’ app features are becoming more widely available on the mobile web.

Apple continues to strongly promote apps but simultaneously Google is pushing the mobile web...

What seems clear is attracting and engaging customers through mobile devices in some form is going to become increasingly important.

Many companies, going forward, will need a mobile offering as a central part of their infrastructure - deployment of mobiles and tablets are outstripping desktops.

Remember that unlike desktop computers, mobiles are connected 24/7, apps offer immediacy and access to data in a mode as you need it and when you need it..

People are becoming increasingly attached to their phones or tablets & it makes great business sense that if companies can get their brand out there via that medium, it could drive great results, far more effectively than many other forms of branding.

It will be there when your potential users sleep and it will still be there when they wake..

So now it's just up to you to decide how you go to bed with your customers!

Good luck...

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Contributed by Ty "Mac-Head" Tyson on 01-May-2011 15:45
Thank you Apple for creating this industry.

Only Apple and to a lesser extent RIM, Nokia and Microsoft have any stringent tests for your Apps to pass.

Google allows any old untried and tested rubbish to be uploaded for sale, hence the vast difference in the quality of Apps available for the different platforms.
Contributed by Norman Feiner on 01-May-2011 13:14
Pleasure Paul.

Wishing you continued success - N
Contributed by Paul Kyriazi on 01-May-2011 13:14
Hey Norman,
Even tought I'm a black star, I found your app article via the internet. Just the information I needed. Thanks.

Contributed by SimplyFone Blogger on 13-Apr-2011 12:26
Let us know how you get along Mike
Contributed by Mike "Winfreight" Shraga on 13-Apr-2011 12:26
I was quoted yesterday R1.2m for a Java / Android app for our Logistics Brokerage software, will be hosted on Googles platform and offered to every online shop.
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